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A pretty thought provoking book More than anything, children want love When you are a helpless, tiny creature in a world of giants in which events happen that you don t understand and can t control a blooming, buzzing confusion, as William James called an infant s experience a parent who loves you and whom you can trust and love is the top priority for survival Children need not only love but also all that goes with it nurturing touch acceptance safety belonging being seen for who they are and the freedom to laugh, cry, rage, and be afraid Because they need love and acceptance so desperately, children will take them in any form they can get them When they don t get love, they ll construe whatever they do get including unhealthy control as love Therein lie the seeds of problems later in life The most unfortunate parallel between controlling families and destructive cults is that parental control becomes internalized in children, just as cult dogma becomes internalized in cult members No parent can be present twenty four hours a day But controlling parents don t have to physically be there because the family system installs an omnipresent inner controller in the child These twenty four hour internalized parents, with their nagging commentary, second guessing, and criticism, can perpetuate deprivation, perfectionism, and speech and feeling control well into adult life The inner control may surface in the form of poor interpersonal boundaries, feelings of unworthiness, lowered expectations, self loathing, fear of closeness, or poor self image Exercises 1 Meet your future self When faced with a challenge or decision, envision yourself in 5 or 10 years, then ask your future self for advice Doing so underlines the faith you have in your own innate development.2 Trust yourself Go through an hour assuming that you are completely trustworthy, your feelings reliable, and your intuition accurate As situations come up, ask yourself, If I knew I was absolutely trustworthy, what would I do now This can help you see that you have within yourself all you need to handle challenges.3 Trust gravity One helpful exercise is Napier s Gravity is your friend Lie down and feel the support of the bed or floor Feel all you weight ease down into it and gradually let the ease deepen for five minutes The earth will support your weight, and gravity will keep you grounded Trust it You can take this experience of trusting into relationships and situations.4 Express gratitude Take a minute at the end of the day to recollect all the experiences and gifts for which you are grateful.5 Notice what you do For one week, each night before bed spend 5 minutes listing what you accomplished, experienced, or became aware of that day At the end of the week, look over your lists You ll see plenty to acknowledge This builds the inner nurturer instead of fueling the inner tyrants.6 Explore various paths to spirituality Pray Meditate Read Visit a cemetery Read about or visit Jerusalem or other holy sites Explore existential philosophy Attend various church services such as an inner city gospel, a fundamentalist tent revival, a Catholic mass, or a New Age or Zen center Go on a vision quest. This short review has been moved to This is a good read for anyone who had controlling parents not just domineering parents though these are included those whose parents were controlling in other ways.Neuharth outlines the different types of unhealthy control that parents might exert on their children, as well as some of the likely results in the children and the adults these children become.One of the aspects of the book that I really appreciated was that Neuharth avoids assuming that a a particular type of controlling parental behaviour will necessarily lead to a particular type of result in a child he outlines the most likely and most often found impacts that people experience but recognizes that individuals have individual responses and b Neuharth allows the readers to choose options that might work best for themselves in modify and or eliminating dysfunctional responses they have as adults as a result of having controlling parents.Unlike some writers, who claim that you can heal so long as you follow my rules and or my step by step program , Neuharth outlines a number of techniques that have proven helpful to him and or his clients in overcoming different types of responses to different types of controlling behaviours Neuharth is very forthright, acknowledging that while these techniques are likely to offer help to individuals, each reader might find all, some, or even none of the suggestions useful for a particular situation Neuharth empowers the reader simply by giving options and assuming with some gentle guidance that the reader is capable of making decisions for themselves I also appreciate that Neuharth does not make forgiveness a pre requisite for healing, this is in stark contrast to many individuals and books I have come across in my own journey Neuharth discusses forgiveness and outlines the reasons why this path might work for people and also why it not be a good choice, and might even be detrimental to an individual s healing process Again, Neuharth empowers the reader by assuming he she is able to assess the options and decide for themselves what the best choice might be.I will end in the spirit of Neuharth If you had controlling parents, consider that this book might offer some extremely valuable advice to you in your healing journey. Unfortunately, this book was not for me not because I didn t have controlling parents, but because 75% of the book is about identifying the problems caused by your controlling parents in your childhood and I ve already done that part I was mainly interested in the healing process and what I found here was inadequate, or things I d already read elsewhere or figured out for myself.There is a large part of the book that s concerned with putting everything in boxes types of controlling parents, type of effects on their children, methods of manipulation control and how to figure out where you or your parents belong Personally, I can t see any use at all for that knowledge and the author doesn t offer any different advice for the healing depending on the kind of control your parents exercised.The why however can help, but I think I ve figured it out myself a few years ago My mother was neglected as a child so when she made her own family, she decided to claim the spotlight she felt she d always deserved That meant we all had to appear perfect to outsiders so that everyone would admire or even envy her Outside the house she was always smiling, helping people, with a kind word for everyone and perfect manners Inside she would criticize all those people she d praised an hour ago, humiliate anyone who d disagreed with her, refuse to give praise for an A because as she claimed then we wouldn t have any motivation to strive for an A When we d get an A she d remind us of the A or B we got in another class I felt like a hamster running inside a wheel with no end in sight She d tell me I was selfish , ungrateful and too difficult for anyone to handle when I reached puberty and started rebelling against her If I said that she was being hurtful or unjust she d tell me to just get over it while reminding me that everyone liked her so I obviously had to be wrong in thinking unkindly of her and since her reasoning made sense, I believed her It goes without saying that my mother my father was so enthralled by her, he always followed her lead had a say on what we ll study, on what we wore, on our boyfriends girlfriends that was a big fat NO for both my brother and me, as flirting would take our focus away from good grades , and the friends we kept only those with good grades or good breeding were deemed acceptable After I got in the university she stated that now I should find myself a good boyfriend one that ticks several boxes like wealth, breeding and education , after I finished and got a job that now was the time to find myself a husband and after I got married and barely 3 months into our marriage, she told me I should get pregnant soon because she was in a good age to become a grandmother and if I left it for later, she d be too tired to help me Even now that I m over 40, my mother calls to say her opinion about how to raise our kids, how often I should clean the house or how to style my hair.All that said, the stories in this book made me feel guilty for thinking badly of her, as she didn t physically abuse me, she only withheld hugs when we didn t act as she wished but otherwise would play games with us and laugh and sit by our bedside when sick, she didn t order for us in restaurants as I read in here However, I do believe that subtler forms of control can be just as devastating because the back and forth between loving parent and emotional abuser makes it even difficult for the children to realize that this environment is unhealthy and that their parents, while well meaning, have scarred them for life.As for the healing part of the book, I didn t find much practical advice as I d expected I liked that the author doesn t force you to forgive your parents in order to heal as most books out there do, nor is he a believer that you have to confront them in order to get better But if your parents are not 100% evil, there s no clear advice on what to do to salvage your relationship with them without cutting ties with them Plus, because my mother was not as bad as those stories mentioned in this book, I now feel even guiltier than before I picked it up for wanting to distance myself from her You can t change them, you won t beat them, and you probably won t get them to see the error of their waysControlling parents are generally disinterested in exploring their adult children s grievances with them When one forty four year old man wrote a letter to his self centered father telling him what troubled him in their relationship, the Using father wrote back with an attack He said, in essence, Don t blame me everything good in your life you got from me, everything bad in your life is your own doing, recalls his son..All parents want to be appreciated by their children Healthier parents recognize that appreciation is a gift their children may give, not something they must give Healthier mothers and fathers may crave their children s love, respect, approval, and loyalty, but generally recognize that things like respect and approval must be earned by parents as well as by children.Controlling parents, however, don t seem to know that truth If they felt they had to earn their own parents love, they may feel entitled to their children s love In controlling families, need is stronger than love Controlling parents need, expect, even command their children to love, appreciate, admire, listen to, and reflect well on them Because controlling parents believe they own their children, they feel justified in such expectations.In short This book is recommended for people who have only now began to realize that their parents may have screwed them up by over controlling them If you re already further along in your journey to become a really independent adult, look elsewhere. So many parts of this had me nodding my head and exclaiming, Yes Easy to read and very helpful It validated how much work I ve already done to escape the legacy of my controlling parent If you experience d this, it will help you too. Intense, but necessary for me. Well structured and informative, slightly too focused on theorizing and classifications, but with enough case studies and exercises to add some nice practical value.The only thing that didn t sit quite right with me was the author s slightly exaggerated tendency to put everything in neatly labeled boxes there are X types of controlling parents, Y types of controlling behaviour, and so on Firstly, this kind of approach almost always leads to things falling through the cracks Also, abusive control is a complex issue things are rarely that clear cut Although the author does acknowledge this, I think the book would have benefited from exploring this topic in detail.Still this is a solid read overall, worth picking up if you either grew up with excessive control, or if you re dealing with a controlling person not necessarily a parent right now. *READ KINDLE ⇹ If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World ☟ Do You Sometimes Feel As If You Are Living Your Life To Please Others Do You Give Other People The Benefit Of The Doubt But Second Guess Yourself Do You Struggle With Perfectionism, Anxiety, Lack Of Confidence, Emotional Emptiness, Or Eating Disorders In Your Intimate Relationships, Have You Found It Difficult To Get Close Without Losing Your Sense Of Self If So, You May Be Among The Fifteen Million Adults In The United States Who Were Raised With Unhealthy Parental Control In This Groundbreaking Bestseller By Accomplished Family Therapist Dan Neuharth, PhD You Ll Discover Whether Your Parents Controlled Eating, Appearance, Speech, Decisions, Feelings, Social Life, And Other Aspects Of Your Childhood And Whether That Control May Underlie Problems You Still Struggle With In Adulthood Packed With Inspiring Case Studies And Dozens Of Practical Suggestions, This Book Shows You How To Leave Home Emotionally So You Can Improve Assertiveness, Boundaries, And Confidence, Quiet You Inner Critics, And Bring Balance To Your Moods And Relationships Offering Compassion, Not Blame, Dr Neuharth Helps You Make Peace With Your Past And Avoid Overcontrolling Your Children And Other Loved Ones I must read for a lot of people I know who won t read this.So many people who grew up in the fundamentalist community should read this They could use a better understanding of themselves and the healing they need to seek out.This book offers that.There are lots of little exercises I ll be doing in the future to help heal my screwed up thinking about the world. The book has many disturbing examples of parental neglect and abuse A very thought provoking read to understand how some people are the way they are Seventy percent of the book is focused on very practical ways to deal with growing up with troubled parents It s a book for illustrating what not to do as a parent and also how to emerge as an independent, healthy human being Great read.